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CURRENCY : Dollar Slips, Gold Makes Gains in U.S. Trading

February 26, 1988|Associated Press

NEW YORK — The dollar turned in a narrowly mixed performance Thursday on the world's foreign exchange markets, slipping against major currencies in U.S. trading after edging up against most of them in dealings in Europe.

Gold prices edged up in New York after falling sharply in Europe.

Republic National Bank of New York quoted a late bid price for gold of $433 an ounce, up 20 cents from Wednesday's late bid.

The dollar rose in Europe on expectations that the U.S. government would revise its estimate of growth in the gross national product for the fourth quarter of 1987 to 5% from 4.2%.

But the report, released in the middle of the European trading day, put the latest estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth at 4.5%.

As a result, the dollar turned lower, finishing the day in New York at lower levels than it traded at late Wednesday.

Dan Holland, a vice president at Discount Corp. in New York, said some traders bought dollars before the trade report was released because they interpreted President Reagan's comments on the economy at a news conference Wednesday night as indicating growth had been stronger than expected.

Followed Bond Market

But, he said, once the report was released and the revision was only modest, some dollar traders sold the U.S. currency.

Jack Barbanel, senior vice president at Gruntal & Co., said the dollar took its cues from the bond market where a rally faltered at midday.

"There is a considerable amount of confusion in the financial markets" about the strength of the economy, he said.

In Tokyo, where trading ends before Europe's business day begins, the dollar rose 0.05 Japanese yen to close at 128.80 yen. Later, in London, it was quoted at 128.67 yen. In New York, the dollar slipped to 128.425 yen from 128.82 yen late Wednesday.

In London, the dollar slipped against the British pound, which rose to $1.7665 from $1.7640 late Wednesday. The dollar also slipped against the pound in New York, where sterling rose to $1.76725 from $1.76355.

Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to late rates Wednesday, included: 1.6930 West German marks, down from 1.69575; 1.39215 Swiss francs, down from 1.39535; 5.7285 French francs, down from 5.7340; 1,247 Italian lire, down from 1,248, and 1.26495 Canadian dollars, down from 1.26505.

Bullion Rebounds

Late dollar rates in Europe, compared to late rates Wednesday, included: 1.6945 West German marks, up from 1.6925; 1.3935 Swiss francs, up from 1.3908; 5.7315 French francs, up from 5.7240; 1.9020 Dutch guilders, up from 1.8990; 1,248.25 Italian lire, up from 1,246.25, and 1.2650 Canadian dollars, down from 1.2651.

Gold prices edged up in the United States after tumbling in Asia and Europe.

On the Commodity Exchange in New York, gold for current delivery rose $1.30 an ounce to $433.20.

In London, gold fell to $428 from $434.70. In Zurich, Switzerland, gold fell to $433 from $434.70.

Earlier, in Hong Kong, gold fell $7.85 to close at $436.35.

Silver bullion prices fell on the London market where the metal was trading at $6.15 an ounce, compared to $6.26 on Wednesday.

On New York's Comex, silver for current delivery rose 5.3 cents to $6.243.

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